An International and Intensive Program on Buddhism at UBC

An International and Intensive Program on Buddhism at UBC

(July 28-August 13, 2018; Vancouver, BC, Canada)

Welcome Video Lecture Series Lecturers Student Participants
Young Scholars Forum Schedule Student Report Gallery

The Tianzhu Global Network of Buddhist Studies at UBC, with the assistance from UBC’s SSHRC-sponsored international and interdisciplinary project on Buddhism and East Asian Religions (, cordially invites applications for an intensive program on Buddhism and East Asian Cultures. Lasting for three weeks from July 28 to August 13, 2018, this program is composed of two segments: July 28 – August 3 (Segment 1) and August 7 – 13 (Segment 2).

The backbone of this program consists of six seminars delivered by six international scholars. Each seminar combines close reading of primary sources (non-Chinese primary sources may be accompanied by English translations), lectures on the implications of these sources, and guided presentations from participating students on their research, which could be their term papers, or thesis chapters.  The six instructors for this year’s intensive program include, alphabetically:

  • Christoph Anderl (Ghent University): Chinese Buddhist Iconography (Segment 2);
  • James Benn (McMaster University): Studies in Later Chinese Buddhist Apocrypha: With a Focus on the Lengyan Jing (Segment 1);
  • Jinhua Chen (UBC): Buddhism, Borders, and Business: Buddhism’s Crossborder and Commercial Engagement (Segment 1);
  • Zhe Ji (INALCO-CEIB): The Institutional Evolutions of Buddhism in Contemporary China (Segment 2);
  • James Robson (Harvard University): Buddhism, Daoism, Buddho-Daoism (Segment 2);
  • Barend ter Haar (Oxford University): Re-reading Sources on Lord Guan (Segment 1).

The program also supports a series of occasional lectures, to be delivered by top scholars (to be announced separately), both based in North America and coming from East Asia and Europe. In addition to these seminars, lectures, and Students’ own forum, student participants will conduct several field trips in Vancouver and neighboring areas, to gain firsthand experience of famed religious sites. They are also encouraged to present their research papers to their program instructors, lecturers, and their peer participants. Outstanding students will be selected and invited to carry out short-term (6-12 months long) research at UBC and UBC’s FROGBEAR partner universities in East Asia, Europe and North America. This may further bring them the opportunity of pursuing doctoral degrees or doing postdoctoral research at these top universities.

Senior undergraduate students and graduate students specializing in any Buddhism and other non-Buddhist East Asian religions, and postdoctoral fellows working on relevant fields, are encouraged to apply. Please direct applications and inquiries to Please submit applications before April 30, 2018. Each application should include (1) an application form (to be provided upon request via the above email address), (2) updated curriculum vitae, (3) one writing sample (published or unpublished; in English or Chinese), and (4) a reference letter (to be emailed by the referee directly to the above email address). Priority will be given to those applicants who are able to participate in both segments, although applications may also be considered from applicants who can only take part in one segment due to compelling reasons.

This intensive program, focusing on Buddhism’s profound impact on different aspects of secular life in East Asia, is designed as a twin program for a similar program to be held at Cambridge University and devoted to textual and historical studies of Buddhism:

Both programs are administered by UBC’s FROGBEAR project, and interested students are encouraged to apply for both.

To guarantee sufficient interaction of student participants with instructors and between student participants themselves, student enrollment is limited to 30. In addition to being exempted from all tuition and administration fees, a successful candidate may receive a subsidy ranging from US$1,000-1,500 (depending on his or her individual needs and the distance s/he has to travel for the program) that will help defray program-related expenses, including lodging, meals, and transportation.


Segment 1:
1. July 27: arrival at UBC
2. July 28-August 3: Seminars
3. August 4: student presentations and 2 occasional lecture
4. August 5: tour  + 1 occasional lecture

Young Scholars Forum:

  1. August 4: student presentations and 2 occasional lecture
  2. August 5: tour  + 1 occasional lecture
  3. August 6: student presentations and one occasional lecture

Segment 2:
1.  August 7-12: Seminars
2. August 13: tour
3. August 14: Departure


$40/night ($800 total) Dorm-style rooms at the Place Vanier Residence, plus $8/day ($160 total) for a breakfast buffet. Please advise of any dietary restrictions.

Each floor has a mixture of single and twin private bedrooms with shared hallway washrooms and floor lounges that include a TV, fridge, sink, and a microwave. Free WiFi is available in the residence lobby. In-room high speed Internet, parking and on-site laundry are available for a fee. Basketball courts, tennis courts and playing fields are all nearby.

Please see HERE for more information.

If you have a preference for single or double room, please let us know (the price remains the same). It is expected that participants stay here, but may opt out of this option by emailing by June 1, 2018.